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Louisville's Iconic Meat Dishes

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From the humble cheeseburger to the high-class Hot Brown, the people of Louisville (and those living nearby) have produced some meat dishes that are icons not only to our city, but also the world. To kick off Eater's Five Days of Meat, we present some places that feature meaty icons available in Derby City. Any observations, objections or omissions will as always be welcomed in the comments section.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Wagner's Pharmacy

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3113 S 4th St
Louisville, KY 40214
(502) 375-3800
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Operating since 1922, this small pharmacy near Churchill Downs, beloved by trainers, touts and track rats, serves a plain, honest bologna sandwich (hot or cold). [Photo: Facebook]

2. The Brown Hotel

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335 W Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 324-1389
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First made for hungry drunks during Prohibition at this downtown hotel, the turkey, tomato, toast, bacon and Mornay sauce of a Hot Brown has become one of Louisville's signature dishes.

3. Ollie's Trolley

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978 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40203
(502) 583-5214
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Ollie Gleichenhaus' multi-secret-spice burger attracted the attention of KFC magnate/former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown, who tried to do for Ollie's tiny burger joint in Miami Beach what he did for Colonel Sanders. Ollie’s franchise did not turn out to be the next KFC, but a few have survived, including one not too far from the Yum! Center. [Photo: Facebook]

4. Dizzy Whizz Drive-In

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217 W St. Catherine St.
Louisville, KY 40203
(502) 583-3828
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Offering both counter and curb service, Dizzy Whizz has been dishing up the "Famous WhizzBurger™" since 1947, before certain other double-decker burgers "with special sauce, lettuce and cheese" broke the "billions and billions" barrier.

5. Bearno's By-The-Bridge

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131 W Main St
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 584-7437
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A true Louisville-style pizza is Bearno's All Meat Special, an "enormous pizza ... piled high with sausage, pepperoni, hamburger, ham, bacon, slices of Bearno’s Homemade Italian Link Sausage, and covered with plenty of cheese."

6. Check's Cafe

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1101 E Burnett Ave
Louisville, KY
(502) 637-9515
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Served with or without spaghetti or cheese, available on a hot dog or over french fries, Check's chili has been "an original since 1944." Take that, Cincinnati! [Photo: Facebook]

7. Mark's Feed Store

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1514 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, KY 40205
(502) 458-1570
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Along with some of the only mustard-based barbecue in town (but that's a South Carolina thing), Mark's serves up a pretty mean Kentucky burgoo. They describe theirs as "a hearty stew with meat, veggies and spices," but it's a pretty good bet the meat isn't squirrel—a traditional ingredient in Kentucky burgoo.

8. Kaelin's Coffeehouse

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1801 Newburg Rd
Louisville, KY
(502) 451-1801
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This coffeehouse shares the same name and geographic location, but otherwise has no other relation to the venerable dining spot that gave the world the cheeseburger. Well, they do still have the original sign and the "If you can't stop, please wave" sign around someplace, even though the original structure is now attached to a place called Mulligan's. Like most places on earth, they have a cheeseburger. [Photo: Facebook]

9. Pat's Steakhouse

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2437 Brownsboro Rd
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 893-2062
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The oldest steakhouse in Louisville, Pat's has been in operation since 1958 when it opened as Min's Steakhouse. The "Specialty of the House" is two pounds of aged U.S. Prime Porterhouse steak, which (because Pat's is a generous place) includes "a salad and your choice of two sides."

10. KFC

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1441 Gardiner Lane
Louisville, KY 40213
Harlan Sanders may have come up with his secret recipe in Corbin, Kentucky, but his "finger lickin' good" legacy looms large over Louisville. From corporate headquarters to arena to buckets and boxes all over town, the Colonel is everywhere.[Photo: Facebook]

11. Morris' Liquors & Deli

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2228 Taylorsville Rd
Louisville, KY 40205
(502) 458-1668
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Country ham is one of Kentucky's culinary gifts to the world, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is in a well prepared sandwich. There's a nice one available at Morris' Deli. [Photo: Facebook]

12. J. Harrod's

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7507 River Rd
Prospect, KY 40059
(502) 228-4555
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Louisvillians love livers, especially if they are fried and of the chicken variety. J Harrod's offers chicken livers sauteed with strips of country ham, carmelized onions and gravy, and some say they're the best in town.

1. Wagner's Pharmacy

3113 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40214
Operating since 1922, this small pharmacy near Churchill Downs, beloved by trainers, touts and track rats, serves a plain, honest bologna sandwich (hot or cold). [Photo: Facebook]
3113 S 4th St
Louisville, KY 40214

2. The Brown Hotel

335 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202
First made for hungry drunks during Prohibition at this downtown hotel, the turkey, tomato, toast, bacon and Mornay sauce of a Hot Brown has become one of Louisville's signature dishes.
335 W Broadway
Louisville, KY 40202

3. Ollie's Trolley

978 S 3rd St, Louisville, KY 40203
Ollie Gleichenhaus' multi-secret-spice burger attracted the attention of KFC magnate/former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown, who tried to do for Ollie's tiny burger joint in Miami Beach what he did for Colonel Sanders. Ollie’s franchise did not turn out to be the next KFC, but a few have survived, including one not too far from the Yum! Center. [Photo: Facebook]
978 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40203

4. Dizzy Whizz Drive-In

217 W St. Catherine St., Louisville, KY 40203
Offering both counter and curb service, Dizzy Whizz has been dishing up the "Famous WhizzBurger™" since 1947, before certain other double-decker burgers "with special sauce, lettuce and cheese" broke the "billions and billions" barrier.
217 W St. Catherine St.
Louisville, KY 40203

5. Bearno's By-The-Bridge

131 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202
A true Louisville-style pizza is Bearno's All Meat Special, an "enormous pizza ... piled high with sausage, pepperoni, hamburger, ham, bacon, slices of Bearno’s Homemade Italian Link Sausage, and covered with plenty of cheese."
131 W Main St
Louisville, KY 40202

6. Check's Cafe

1101 E Burnett Ave, Louisville, KY
Served with or without spaghetti or cheese, available on a hot dog or over french fries, Check's chili has been "an original since 1944." Take that, Cincinnati! [Photo: Facebook]
1101 E Burnett Ave
Louisville, KY

7. Mark's Feed Store

1514 Bardstown Rd, Louisville, KY 40205
Along with some of the only mustard-based barbecue in town (but that's a South Carolina thing), Mark's serves up a pretty mean Kentucky burgoo. They describe theirs as "a hearty stew with meat, veggies and spices," but it's a pretty good bet the meat isn't squirrel—a traditional ingredient in Kentucky burgoo.
1514 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, KY 40205

8. Kaelin's Coffeehouse

1801 Newburg Rd, Louisville, KY
This coffeehouse shares the same name and geographic location, but otherwise has no other relation to the venerable dining spot that gave the world the cheeseburger. Well, they do still have the original sign and the "If you can't stop, please wave" sign around someplace, even though the original structure is now attached to a place called Mulligan's. Like most places on earth, they have a cheeseburger. [Photo: Facebook]
1801 Newburg Rd
Louisville, KY

9. Pat's Steakhouse

2437 Brownsboro Rd, Louisville, KY 40206
The oldest steakhouse in Louisville, Pat's has been in operation since 1958 when it opened as Min's Steakhouse. The "Specialty of the House" is two pounds of aged U.S. Prime Porterhouse steak, which (because Pat's is a generous place) includes "a salad and your choice of two sides."
2437 Brownsboro Rd
Louisville, KY 40206

10. KFC

1441 Gardiner Lane, Louisville, KY 40213
Harlan Sanders may have come up with his secret recipe in Corbin, Kentucky, but his "finger lickin' good" legacy looms large over Louisville. From corporate headquarters to arena to buckets and boxes all over town, the Colonel is everywhere.[Photo: Facebook]
1441 Gardiner Lane
Louisville, KY 40213

11. Morris' Liquors & Deli

2228 Taylorsville Rd, Louisville, KY 40205
Country ham is one of Kentucky's culinary gifts to the world, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is in a well prepared sandwich. There's a nice one available at Morris' Deli. [Photo: Facebook]
2228 Taylorsville Rd
Louisville, KY 40205

12. J. Harrod's

7507 River Rd, Prospect, KY 40059
Louisvillians love livers, especially if they are fried and of the chicken variety. J Harrod's offers chicken livers sauteed with strips of country ham, carmelized onions and gravy, and some say they're the best in town.
7507 River Rd
Prospect, KY 40059